Characteristics and Forms of Poetry


Figurative Language

Figurative Language is writing or speech not meant to be taken literally.
Metaphors describe one thing as if it were something else.
Personification gives human qualities to something that is not human.
Similes use like or as to compare to seemingly unlike things.
A symbol is anything that represents something else.

Sound Devices

Sound devices enhance a poem's mood and meaning.
Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the beginning words.
Repetition is the use of any element of language more than once.
Assonance is repetition of vowel sounds followed by other consonants in stressed syllables.
Consonance is the repetition of similar consonant sounds at the ends of accented syllables.
Onomatopoeia is the use of words that imitate sounds.
Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the ends of words.
Meter is the rhythmical pattern in a poem.

Forms of Poetry

Narrative poetry tells a story in verse.
Haiku is a three-line Japanese verse. The first and third lines = 5 syllables, the second = 7.
Free verse poetry has a lack of strict structure with no meter, rhyme, length, etc.
Lyric poetry expresses the thoughts and feelings of a singe speaker, often musical.
Ballads are song-like poems that tell stories that often deal with adventure and romance.
Limericks are humorous, rhyming, five-line poems with specific rhyme pattern and scheme.
Rhyming Couplets are pairs of rhyming lines that usually have the same meter and length.